How Hep C Treatments Work

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Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that's caused by a virus.

It usually starts out as an acute infection that lasts just a few weeks. But sometimes, the virus stays in your body, causing a serious, chronic illness that raises your chances of having cirrhosis and liver cancer.

For some people, their immune system is able to fight off the infection. But others may need treatment.

Until recently, only two medicines were used to treat hep
interferon and ribavirin. But these drugs:

Often required weekly injections for almost a year!

Only cured half of those treated

And caused life-threatening side effects

Now, new treatments called Direct Antiviral Agents -- or DAAs -- are available that are safer, faster, and more effective than the old ones.

By taking just one pill a day, the medicine works by attacking the hepatitis C virus and blocking the enzymes it needs to multiply.

Therapy with DAAs usually cures most people in only about 12 weeks!

Lots of people with hep C don't have any symptoms for years or decades. Talk to your doctor to get a blood test if you think you've been exposed, because early diagnosis is the key to a healthy liver!